Thoughts on Winnebago Itasca? New to RVing and need help!

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martinfam

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Sep 25, 2021
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New Mexico
Hello!

We found a 1983 Winnebago Itasca online. The interior needs some love but otherwise seems to be in great condition, only 34,000 original miles. We're new to RVing and don't know much. If you could help us out with your thoughts we would greatly appreciate it!
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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83 vintage is likely going to need a lot of $$ and love to make it road worthy again. Unless its free or unless you are real handy and want a project with zero return I would not go near it.
 

martinfam

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Sep 25, 2021
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83 vintage is likely going to need a lot of $$ and love to make it road worthy again. Unless its free or unless you are real handy and want a project with zero return I would not go near it.
Thank you for your reply! The guy selling it says it starts right up, runs and drives well. Are they known for a lot of problems?
 

Henry J Fate

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Jun 14, 2018
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Anything in that age range should be expected to give you problems. It will be mostly about what you plan to do with it and how you will use it but another factor is whether or not you can repair the vehicle yourself. Including all the house systems

Tires alone will cost you around 2k plus and are probably in need of new.

Even if you got the vehicle for free, you will most likely need lots of money and time to bring to a road worthy condition.
 

donn

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Nearly 40 year old appliances usually means your going to have to fork out for all new. $$. Now, dated interior. OK paint and some new upholstery. Can you cut and stich new upholstery? Thats just on the inside. Roof? If its a rubber roof then its due for new. $5K at minimum. Does or has it ever had water leaks? Any signs of leaks? That could mean mold, which could be hazardous to your health.
Like I said earlier unless your a good handyman, have DEEP pockets and the desire for a long term project, RUN, dont walk RUN away from this loonie idea.
 

Isaac-1

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Unless you are into restoring classic cars, any motorhome from the 1980's should be a hard pass, the same holds true for almost anything from the first half of the 1990's.

A motorhome from the early 1980's even if running perfectly will have a carburetor and a 3 speed transmission, it will also have been designed and built in the era of the 55 mph national speed limit. Add to this that getting engine and drive train parts is starting to become challenging, much less finding a mechanic to do things like tuning a carburetor is getting to be nearly impossible and you have the recipe for an unhappy experience.

p.s. My motorhome turns 20 this year, I bought it 5 years ago, and I have noticed even with it, that there are parts that are getting harder to find, and some that are now junk yard only items, or simply are not available, that were easy to obtain just 4-5 years ago.
 

Ksouers

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Apr 27, 2013
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Eastern Missouri
My Adventurer is 26 years old, I’ve had it for 10, and it seems like daily I’m finding things that need repair or replacement. Humidity will do nearly as much damage to the cabinetry as a full soaking. Not to mention sun damage to exposed seals in windows and caulking around body panels. At some point it becomes overwhelming and you just want to burn it. My vote is also for keep looking.

Kevin
 

John Canfield

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Aug 8, 2006
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Texas Hill Country
Hello!

We found a 1983 Winnebago Itasca online. The interior needs some love but otherwise seems to be in great condition, only 34,000 original miles. We're new to RVing and don't know much. If you could help us out with your thoughts we would greatly appreciate it!
Welcome to the forum. Not much to add except to echo the other comments and especially the fellow that said he wouldn't take it even if it was free.

I can recommend Winnebago/Itasca RVs but not that old. Newer Winnie's (and Itasca) have plumbing and wiring diagrams available online.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
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Cedar City, UT
At one time Itasca and Winnebago where separate companies,, Winne was under contract to use Dodge chassis exclusively,, they bought Itasca to be able to offer the public more options and several different chassis and engine choices and get around that restriction.. In later years both were rolling down parallel assembly lines but with different parts, but were actually Winnebago products as they are today.. Not too long ago a Rumer floated around the industry that winne would drop the Itasca line,, hasn't happened yet.. but could..>>>Dan
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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11,167
Chrysler had Dodge and Plymouth, GM has nearly identical GMC and Chevrolet trucks, Chevrolet and Buick cars, etc. for similar reasons ... so they could have two dealers selling their products instead of just one inside each dealer's protected territory.
 

martinfam

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Sep 25, 2021
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Thank you for all of the replies! We passed on it. We definitely don't have the time or money and don't want to deal with a money pit. I appreciate all the comments!
 

Isaac-1

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Glad to hear that you passed on it, any such coach will have limited viability as a general purpose RV, though if in good shape, may still have some limited useful life in the hands of a mechanically inclined DIY'er. Particularly those that plan on only limited regional travel, ie might work well to drive up to the local lake 50-75 miles away on the weekend
 

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